New Jersey, Connecticut to end school mask mandate, New York staying in place and could extend

NEW YORK (WABC) — There is a new phase of the pandemic when it comes to masking in schools.

Connecticut and New Jersey plan to eliminate school mask mandates in the coming weeks. New Jersey on March 7 and Connecticut on February 28.

“We are not removing the ability of individual district leaders to maintain and enforce such a policy within their schools, or any private childcare provider from maintaining such a policy within their business should community conditions require,” New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said.

One such district keeping facemasks in their schools is Newark. They reportedly plan to keep their protocols in place.

“We are not going to manage COVID to zero, we have to learn how to live with COVID as we move from a pandemic to an endemic phase of this virus,” Murphy said.

WATCH | Rutgers professor breaks down debate over mask mandates

In New York, Governor Kathy Hochul is not yet ready to lose the school mask mandate.

She says she wants to see vaccination rates improve among children ages 5 to 11 years old.

Governor Hochul could even extend the mask mandate for schools.

The New York State Department of Health says they expect the mandate to be renewed.

In a statement Monday, the CDC says it’s up to local officials to make the rules, but their recommendation remains masks for everyone, ages 2 and up:

“CDC guidance is meant to supplement-not replace-any federal, state, tribal, local, or territorial health and safety laws, rules, and regulations. The adoption and implementation of our guidance should be done in collaboration with regulatory agencies and state, tribal, local, and territorial public health departments, and in compliance with state and local policies and practices.”

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